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Hyponatremia – Too Much Water

A 28-year-old woman collapsed and died after finishing the Boston Marathon. Her blood salt levels were extremely low and she died from a condition called hyponatremia. A few weeks ago, a policeman training for bicycle duty died of the same condition. On July 26, 2005, sports medicine experts issued a warning to all athletes from the First International Exercise-Associated Hyponatremia Consensus Development Conference.

How Exercise Reduces Dementia Risk

Almost 50 percent of North Americans over 85 and 13 percent of those over 65 suffer from Alzheimer's disease (Alzheimer's Assoc Facts and Figures, 2018). We know that you lose brain cells as you age, and scientists used to think that you could not make new brain cells. However, an exciting new study from Columbia University suggests that you can make new brain cells as you age, and that loss of brain function may be caused by lack of adequate blood flow and nourishment of brain cells.

Isometric Exercise

Can you become very strong by doing isometric exercises in which you push against something that doesn't move, such as a wall? The single stimulus to make a muscle stronger is to exercise a muscle against a resistance; therefore, you can become strong by doing isometric exercises. However, there are two drawbacks: isometrics can...

Low Vitamin D Increases Risk for Injuries

A study of 214 prospective National Football League players found that 73 percent of those who were deficient in vitamin D had a severe lower leg injury when they played in college, compared to only 40 percent of those who were not deficient in vitamin D (Arthroscopy, Dec. 21, 2017). Eighty-six percent of those who missed college games because of lower leg injuries were vitamin D deficient.

Carbohydrate Loading DOES NOT Work

"Carbohydrate loading" the night before a big race can harm your performance and your health. More than forty years ago, I reported the case of a marathon runner who had a heart attack after carbohydrate loading in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Exercise for Endurance AND Strength

If you want to gain maximum benefit from your exercise program, you should try to do both endurance (heart-lung) activities and resistance (muscle strength) training.

Try a Trike

If you're 60, 70, 80 or any age and want a really fun way to exercise, try a Trike! You have no problem with balance, no risk of falling, and you can move as fast (or slow) as you like. Climbing hills is no problem because the gears go down really low, you won't fall over no matter how slow you are, and you can stop right in the middle of the hill if you get tired.

How To Run Faster

If you don't run very fast in practice, you won't be able to run very fast in races.

Cold-Weather Exercise Tips

You feel cold most in your fingers, ears and toes. To help keep your hands warm on very cold days, wear an inner layer of thin gloves made from loosely-woven material that permits sweat to pass through. Gloves allow you to control your fingers better than mittens when you shift gears or use ski poles.

Walk Faster, Live Longer

The faster you walk, the longer you live. Picking up the pace is more healthful than just walking slowly, even if you go longer than the recommended 30 minutes per day.

How to Pedal a Bicycle

You should pedal with the ball of your foot, not your arch. The ankle is the fulcrum for the force you generate with your feet. The ball of your foot is further away from the ankle than your arch so you generate far more force with the ball of your foot. As you straighten your...

How to Keep Running as You Age

I do not run anymore and virtually all of the runners who ran with me in the 1940s through 1960s don't run either, mostly because of the very high rate of running injuries. Eighty percent of long-distance runners suffer injuries that force them to take time off from running each year.

Running May Help to Protect Your Knees

Running a marathon may strengthen the cartilage and muscles in knee joints. Marathon runners their MRIs showed a remarkable reduction in the knee bone and cartilage damage and marked strengthening of the knees.

Why Do Sled Dogs have So Much More Endurance than Humans?

How can sled dogs run more than 100 miles a day for weeks on end, while humans couldn’t possibly recover from such abuse of their muscles? A study from Ohio State University shows why.

Exercise Choices for the Out-of-Shape

Sixty-five percent of people who start an exercise program drop out in the first six weeks, often because of injuries. Jogging and running are high-injury sports because your feet hit the ground with a force greater than twice your body weight. Pedaling and swimming are safer because you pedal in a smooth rotary motion and when you swim, the buoyancy of the water dampens forces on your muscles.

Side Stitch: Belly Pain while Running

When you get a side stitch, stop running and press your hand deep into your liver to raise it up toward your diaphragm. At the same time, purse your lips tightly and blow out. Pushing the liver up stops stretching the ligaments. Breathing against pursed lips retards fully emptying your lungs and doesn't let your diaphragm rise too high.

Some Health Benefits of Exercise May Come from Changes in Colon Bacteria

A six-week program of exercise markedly increased the types of healthful colon bacteria and their functions in healthy but previously sedentary people. At the end of the six-week exercise program, the lean group had more of the healthful types of colon bacteria that ferment unabsorbed soluble fiber into short chain fatty acids (SCFAs).

Runner’s Knee (Knee Cap Pain)

The most common long-term running injury is runners knee, pain behind the knee cap during running. You probably have runner's knee if your knee cap hurts when you walk or run, particularly when you walk down stairs; and it hurts a lot when you push the kneecap against the bone behind it.

How Often Should You Lift Weights?

You can become very strong and grow large muscles just by lifting a single set of 6 to 12 repetitions of a weight that is 75 percent of your maximum, three times a week

Everyone Should Exercise After Meals

A study from New Zealand shows that walking 10 minutes after meals lowers high blood sugar by more than 22 percent in diabetics, which is more effective than 30 minutes of exercise done once a day.

Spinning Classes

Whether you're out of shape or very fit, spinning classes can help you improve. You ride a stationary bicycle in a group, with a leader who tells you what to do and plays lively music to set the tempo. Many health clubs and gyms offer these classes, and I recommend them to all of...

Stress Fractures – Prevention and Treatment

If you are an exerciser and develop a sharp pain on a bone that hurts when you press directly on that spot and does not hurt to touch an inch away, you probably have a stress fracture. Stress fractures are very common injuries, particularly in runners.

Exercise Really Does Help You

Researchers reviewed eight studies that used accelerometers to follow 36,383 adults, 40 years of age and older, for six years. They found that exercising regularly, regardless of intensity, was associated with reduced risk for death during the study period, while sitting for more than nine hours a day was associated with increased risk of death.

Good News for Male Cyclists

Cycling is not associated with increased risk for impotence or urinary symptoms. The largest and best study on the subject to date shows that serious cyclists are no more likely to suffer impotence or urinary problems than swimmers or runners.

How to do the Most Pushups

If you want to be able to do 100 pushups in a row, do not try to do as many pushups as possible every day. You'll probably injure yourself and end up unable to do any pushups at all. Training for competition requires an understanding of the stress- and-recover rule and the interval-sets rule. The...

Support Stockings

Elastic compression stockings have no effect whatever on exercise, according to a study from France (European Journal of Applied Physiology, July 2006). They neither increase nor decrease endurance, strength, speed, recovery, or blood flow to the limbs.

Exercising in Air Pollution

It's healthy to exercise and harmful to breathe polluted air. Many people wonder if they will do more harm than good by exercising on days when the air is heavily polluted. The worst time for pollution is when clouds cover the sky and automobiles fill the roads. Automobile exhaust fumes are the principal source of...

Caffeine Boosts Endurance and Strength

A review of 34 recent studies shows that taking caffeine before and during exercise can increase muscle strength and endurance.

Fruit Beats Sports Drinks for Exercisers

Many studies show that you can exercise longer and more intensely and recover faster when you take a source of sugar during vigorous exercise. Dozens of brands of sports drinks are promoted to fill this need, but a new study from Appalachian State University shows that a banana appears to offer superior results, specifically helping athletes to recover faster from intense exercise.

How to Keep Your Maximum Heart Rate Up as You Age

Your maximum heart rate is the fastest your heart can beat and still pump blood effectively through your body. As you age, your maximum heart rate drops. This means that your heart is weaker and more susceptible to damage, and you can't exercise as fast over distance as you could when you were younger.